Can I please have some feedback on the following question about projects and BAU –
List 5 key attributes of a project and describe how each differs from business-as-usual.
50 marks (10 marks each)
Finite Time – A project is transient. Projects have to be completed within a specific time-frame whereas business-as-usual (BAU) activities are on-going, continuous tasks. For example a project may be to create a prototype for a new software system – this will have a start and a finish. Whereas BAU could be the use of that software system after it has been put into place.
Risk – Projects are significant endeavours that will involve specific over-heads. This is why there are always some risks involved which will need to be managed. BAU is repetitive and seeks consistency so does not hold the same amount of risk.
Specific one-off deliverables – Projects need to produce a set of specific, one-off deliverables in order for benefit to be derived. BAU activities produce specific deliverables but repeatedly. For example a project may be to design and manufacture a new car – the first one that is manufactured will be part of a project but once the car is being manufactured repeatedly it becomes BAU.
Cost – Projects have a specific budget allocated to them whereas BAU usually uses an operational budget. Projects therefore need an approved business case and a sponsor.
Benefit – Projects aim to achieve some specific long-term benefits and are concerned with introducing change. BAU seeks to maintain consistency or introduce slow incremental change.